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GAINESVILLE: One great deed turns into 700 | News

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GAINESVILLE: One great deed turns into 700
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GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- This story is about a great deed that arose from another great deed that arose from a tragedy.

We told you this summer about Zalissa Lomax, who at a year old survived a car accident that killed her mother, father, and sister. Zalissa survived, and she responded by devoting her mother's birthday every year to doing a good deed for someone else.

This year, she got her first-ever haircut to make a wig for a cousin named Sawyer, who had lost her own hair due to a condition.

When we taped the story, we did one more thing before we left: we told Zalissa and her family about Rachel's Challenge.

From there, Zalissa and grandmother Claudia Lomax contacted Sardis Enrichment School in Gainesville, where seven-year-old Zalissa is a student. They spearheaded the effort to bring Rachel's Challenge into the halls.

"It has surprised me a lot because they are so young," Claudia said, "and there is so much good in them. Some of the stories have been incredible, and I think there's not a student in here who doesn't know who Rachel Joy Scott was."

After two weeks of celebrating kindness, the school held an assembly this past Friday. Every student signed a Rachel's Challenge poster; Zalissa and Claudia spoke to the students; and each grade brought up its own chain of kindness -- 700 links, one for each student at the school.

Said Zalissa afterwards, "Now they always understand that just a smile can change something, and that's never too small of an act of kindness."

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